If things go to plan, 2017 looks like it will be a belting year for Niall Kennedy [7(4)-0].
The Wexford heavyweight will leave the prospect stage of his career this year, and intends to fight for a title in his forthcoming contest.
This comes after a successful 2016 that saw ‘Boom Boom Baz’ go from strength to strength and carve a corner out for himself on Murphys Boxing shows across the Atlantic in Boston – which is where Kennedy is anticipating a lot of title action.
Reflecting on the past year, Kennedy told Irish-Boxing.com that “I’m delighted with 2016. I got four fights in and I feel I’m improving a lot of aspects as well as my boxing.I felt my conditioning and strength improved.”
“I was also pleased with how relaxed I feel now when things don’t go to plan and I don’t panic – like breaking my hand in Boston in a tough fight, and the slip/knock down in Dublin, I remained calm and relaxed and got the wins.”
“I’d just like to say massive thanks to all my support last year, Packie [Collins] and Murphys Boxing – and the Wexford and Gorey following.”
In terms of the aforementioned knockdown, the Gorey Garda is referring to the opening round of his sole fight in Ireland last year. Here, against Gheorghe Danut, a square-on Kennedy was toppled over by what seemed to be a shove. Unhurt, Kennedy would go on to dominate and stop his opponent.
That fight in November was a welcome return to the ring in Ireland for the well-supported Yellow Belly following a year away. While he does hold home fight desires for 2017, Kennedy outlined that the U.S. East Coast, and potentially three title fights is where his immediate future lies.
Unveiling his blueprint, the Celtic Warriors big man described how his next fight will be “in March, hopefully for a Massachusetts State title, then defend it, then a New England title.”
“Hopefully four fights again, if not five.”
The Massachusetts State (vacant) and New England (held by Alexis Santos) titles are fought over eight rounds, and the step up is something that Kennedy craves. He explained how “the longer rounds suit me because I’ll always be fit and I believe longer rounds suit my style better.”
“It’s something I dreamed about as a kid, headlining or co-headlining fights and shows and the longer rounds will put me in that position please God.”
Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show